At best, a lip service

THE HANS INDIA |   Feb 10,2018 , 05:11 AM IST

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 A mimed performance whose purpose is to prepare the audience for the main action of the play to follow is called a dumb show. One finds this in literature aplenty times. The most famous of all these, of course, is in Hamlet, where the players wordlessly enact the murder of a king. 

Strangely, then and only then the precise action of the dumb show is repeated in words immediately afterwards. This is characteristic of the theatre in Denmark. One was reminded of the same in the proceedings of the House on the Andhra Pradesh issue. A spoken word has four characteristics –  duration, pitch, loudness and quality. Remarkably none of these changed in fooling the people of Andhra. The duration was the same as also the other three qualities. 

First comes the murder, of trust, and next follows 'sympathy.' Arun Jaitley brief reference to the AP conundrum sounded a 'dyfalu,' a fanciful conceit, in which, by succession of metaphors, an object is compared with a number of things. What if you have compromised on the Special Category Status? What if you carry the burden of bifurcation in the form of revenue deficit? What if you need a capital? What if your Polavaram is not constructed on time? What if your educational institutions do not flower properly? 

For the BJP 'the hour is gone and so the need.' A perfect comedy of intrigue, perhaps. Or, shall we call this a comedy of manners? The optics of the protests reeked of an intricate plot full of surprises only to subordinate character to plot while the genre itself had in it its main subjects and themes the behaviour and deportment of men and women living under specific social codes. But, the hallmarks of such a performance, elegance, wit and sophistication, remained absent in it. In fact, both the verbal and situational ironies prevailed here. Even more striking was the perception or awareness of a discrepancy. 

The injustice was acknowledged as it has been in the past. The incongruity between words and their meaning and between actions and their results and or between appearance and reality was telling. In all these cases there was this element of absurd and the paradoxical. What use has a word that is not kept and what claim has meaning that never materialises? Arun Jaitley sounded just hyperbolic when he was laughing at the injustice done to the State by the Congress which resorted to the unscientific bifurcation and also at the continuation of the same by his own government. 

Inwardly, all those who played this cruel joke on AP, were laughing uproariously at the misfortune heaped on the latter. It was not the temper and tone alone, but even the very way of looking at the plight of AP and feeling about the injustice rendered to Telugus that hurt everyone. The dry, teasing, laconic, detached sensibility which permeates their politics is nauseating at the best. Reason has fled through the window only to give way to treason and it is time for the people to weigh, judge and resolve to fight their own battles.
 



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